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Subject: "Royal Ballet Tombeaux mixed bill" Archived thread - Read only
 
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Bruceadmin

27-03-05, 11:25 AM (GMT)
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"Royal Ballet Tombeaux mixed bill"
 
  
The RB Tombeaux, Enigma Variations and Rite of Spring bill opened last night at Covent Garden... your thoughts and comments please...

John Ross was at the photoshoots - here is one picture from the set of 24 we have in the gallery...



Tamara Rojo in Rite of Spring


Royal Ballet - Tombeaux Mixed Bill- March 2005
Ballet.co Gallery Area
© John Ross


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  Subject     Author     Message Date     ID  
  RE: Royal Ballet Tombeaux mixed bill DaveM 27-03-05 1
     RE: Royal Ballet Tombeaux mixed bill Richard Jones 27-03-05 2
         RE: Royal Ballet Tombeaux mixed bill DaveM 27-03-05 3
     RE: Royal Ballet Tombeaux mixed bill Sara 28-03-05 4
         RE: Royal Ballet Tombeaux mixed bill annamicro 28-03-05 5
         RE: Royal Ballet Tombeaux mixed bill DaveM 28-03-05 6
             RE: Royal Ballet Tombeaux mixed bill Sim 28-03-05 7
                 RE: Royal Ballet Tombeaux mixed bill Sara 28-03-05 8
                     RE: Royal Ballet Tombeaux mixed bill Jane Sadmin 28-03-05 10
                         RE: Royal Ballet Tombeaux mixed bill DaveM 28-03-05 12
             RE: Royal Ballet Tombeaux mixed bill annamicro 28-03-05 9
                 RE: Royal Ballet Tombeaux mixed bill Mandy 28-03-05 11
  RE: Royal Ballet Tombeaux mixed bill Bruceadmin 28-03-05 13
     RE: Royal Ballet Tombeaux mixed bill Michael LL 29-03-05 14
         RE: Royal Ballet Tombeaux mixed bill Bruceadmin 29-03-05 15
         RE: Royal Ballet Tombeaux mixed bill ami 29-03-05 16
             RE: Royal Ballet Tombeaux mixed bill DaveM 29-03-05 17
                 RE: Royal Ballet Tombeaux mixed bill charliewise 30-03-05 18
     RE: Royal Ballet Tombeaux mixed bill alison 02-04-05 34
  RE: Royal Ballet Tombeaux mixed bill Martha 31-03-05 19
     RE: Royal Ballet Tombeaux mixed bill ian_palmer 31-03-05 20
         RE: Royal Ballet Tombeaux mixed bill Paul A 31-03-05 21
             RE: Royal Ballet Tombeaux mixed bill wulff 31-03-05 24
                 RE: Royal Ballet Tombeaux mixed bill Jane Sadmin 31-03-05 25
                     RE: Royal Ballet Tombeaux mixed bill ian_palmer 31-03-05 26
                         RE: Royal Ballet Tombeaux mixed bill JohnM 31-03-05 27
                             RE: Royal Ballet Tombeaux mixed bill Bluebird 31-03-05 28
         RE: Royal Ballet Tombeaux mixed bill Martha 31-03-05 22
             RE: Royal Ballet Tombeaux mixed bill DaveM 31-03-05 23
                 RE: Royal Ballet Tombeaux mixed bill Jane Sadmin 01-04-05 29
                     RE: Royal Ballet Tombeaux mixed bill AEHandley 02-04-05 30
                         RE: Royal Ballet Tombeaux mixed bill Richard Jones 02-04-05 31
                             RE: Royal Ballet Tombeaux mixed bill alison 02-04-05 33
                             RE: Royal Ballet Tombeaux mixed bill AEHandley 03-04-05 35
                                 RE: Royal Ballet Tombeaux mixed bill AEHandley 03-04-05 36
                         RE: Royal Ballet Tombeaux mixed bill alison 02-04-05 32
                             RE: Royal Ballet Tombeaux mixed bill April 6 Michael LL 07-04-05 37
         RE: Royal Ballet Tombeaux mixed bill alison 11-04-05 38
             RE: Royal Ballet Tombeaux mixed bill DaveM 11-04-05 39
                 RE: Royal Ballet Tombeaux mixed bill ian_palmer 11-04-05 40
                     RE: Royal Ballet Tombeaux mixed bill alison 12-04-05 41
                         Royal Ballet Tombeaux mixed bill on April 16 Michael LL 17-04-05 42
                             RE: Royal Ballet Tombeaux mixed bill on April 16 AlexP 17-04-05 43

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DaveM

27-03-05, 05:35 PM (GMT)
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1. "RE: Royal Ballet Tombeaux mixed bill"
In response to message #0
 
   Tombeaux was very pretty to look at, beautiful costumes (I'd love one of those posters for it), and the dancing and stage movement/patterns were absorbing. Not sure I was taken with the music though. Alina and Johann danced eautifully, no wonder they are regarded as the RB's number one couple.

Enigma variations were comic, moving, baffling (could someone enlighten me as to what was in that telegram that made everyone so happy, or why his friend was so unhappy, then when comforted by Elgar, responded, only for Elgar to pull away until his wife come along?). Beautifully danced, in the typical Ashton way by the whole company, but was particularaly impressed (as always) with Zen, all the more so when you consider she was dancing 'the Chosen One' in full dress rehearsal earlier in the afternoon, which is about as far from Ashton as I can imagine. And was also once more impressed with the gorgeousness of Sarah Lamb, both her and her exquisite dancing!

Then came Rite of Spring, which I think I watched most of with my mouth agape. Astonishing stuff! Not what i'd call 'ballet' really, but an awe inspiring and complex series of corps-coordinated steps, to a powerful Stravinsky score, every step landing on a note, every note having a step. Most of the dancers were barely recognisable under the white paint of the makeup, so it really became a collective effort from all 42 dancers. Can't say I'm a fan of Stravinsky's music that much, but even I was rocked by the music. (I think John Williams pinched huge bits of it for his Star Wars score - and collected an oscar in the process!). Can't wait to see it again.


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Richard Jones

27-03-05, 07:10 PM (GMT)
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2. "RE: Royal Ballet Tombeaux mixed bill"
In response to message #1
 
   (Sir) Edward Elgar (1857-1934) didn't always find it very easy at first to get his music performed. His father, who owned a music shop in Worcester, was a piano-tuner, organist (at St. George's R.C. Church in Worcester) and teacher. Elgar was therefore somewhat outside the English musical 'establishment'; many eyebrows were raised when he married a general's daughter in 1889.

Throughout the 1880's Elgar was little known outside the Midlands. Gradually his music became better known during the 1890's, but it was the first performance of the Enigma Variations in 1899 that earned Elgar his first outstanding London success. The premiere was conducted by Hans Richter, one of the leading conductors of the day, who thereafter championed Elgar's music. (Richter worked with Wagner at Bayreuth, and was also the conductor for the first performances of works by Brahms and Bruckner).The telegram incident in the ballet relates to Richter agreeing to conduct the first performance of the work; Elgar had sent him the score in the hope of interesting Richter in it. The telegram is addressed to Jaeger, mutual friend of both composer and conductor. August Jaeger was one of the various German musicians who recognized Elgar's greatness before the composer's compatriots. Jaeger worked for Novello, the music publishers, and was a great help to Elgar as well as being a very close friend. Jaeger in German means "hunter", and Nimrod was the mighty hunter in the book of Genesis, hence the variation depicting Jaeger is called "Nimrod", and is placed right at the heart of the work. The mood of the variation known as Nimrod relates to a conversation that Jaeger and Elgar had about slow movements in the music of Beethoven.

The Rite of Spring is universally regarded as such a seminal work for musicians (and the ballet I would suggest) that it is no wonder that others have seemed to beg, borrow, or steal from it. Despite the huge number of interpretations of The Rite of Spring as a dance work, the one important choreographer who preferred to hear it in the concert hall was - interestingly - Stravinsky's great friend Mr. B (George Balanchine).


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DaveM

27-03-05, 08:20 PM (GMT)
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3. "RE: Royal Ballet Tombeaux mixed bill"
In response to message #2
 
   thank you Richard, most informative. Much appreciated


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Sara

28-03-05, 08:56 AM (GMT)
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4. "RE: Royal Ballet Tombeaux mixed bill"
In response to message #1
 
   "Alina and Johann danced eautifully, no wonder they are regarded as the RB's number one couple."
Can't see any merit to that, taking into consideration that they are "the" only couple at the RB.


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annamicro

28-03-05, 10:58 AM (GMT)
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5. "RE: Royal Ballet Tombeaux mixed bill"
In response to message #4
 
   If Cojocaru and Kobborg really are the only couple in the company, we'd better to search for the merit at the top of the mountain and not downstream.

I use a binocular from amphitheatre, it helps a lot also to watch mountains: enjoy them.

Anna


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DaveM

28-03-05, 11:42 AM (GMT)
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6. "RE: Royal Ballet Tombeaux mixed bill"
In response to message #4
 
   >"Alina and Johann danced eautifully, no wonder they are
>regarded as the RB's number one couple."
>Can't see any merit to that, taking into consideration that
>they are "the" only couple at the RB.

I meant as in a pairing (they so often dance together), more than an off-stage couple. Saying that they certainly aren't the ONLY couple offstage in the RB!!


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Sim

28-03-05, 11:46 AM (GMT)
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7. "RE: Royal Ballet Tombeaux mixed bill"
In response to message #6
 
   I think Sara probably meant the only established dance partnership...although others could develop.


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Sara

28-03-05, 01:49 PM (GMT)
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8. "RE: Royal Ballet Tombeaux mixed bill"
In response to message #7
 
   Thanks Sim, that is exactly what I meant.


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Jane Sadmin

28-03-05, 05:28 PM (GMT)
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10. "RE: Royal Ballet Tombeaux mixed bill"
In response to message #8
 
   .... and the Tombeaux programme? Does the lovely ending of the Bintley still make its effect? Which role was Sarah Lamb doing in Enigma, Dave? - and how did Watson get on as Troyte? And who was conducting?


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DaveM

28-03-05, 06:24 PM (GMT)
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12. "RE: Royal Ballet Tombeaux mixed bill"
In response to message #10
 
   >.... and the Tombeaux programme? Does the lovely ending of
>the Bintley still make its effect? Which role was Sarah Lamb
>doing in Enigma, Dave? - and how did Watson get on as
>Troyte? And who was conducting?

Only first time I've seen Tombeaux, so not sure what ending you mean I'm afraid.

SL was the Lady Mary Lygon; who was on a sea voyage - so came in on the mist, all floaty and spirit like. And Ed Watson was fine - though I can't really fault any of the dancers. Conductor was Mikhael Agrest, guesting from the Marininsky


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annamicro

28-03-05, 02:08 PM (GMT)
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9. "RE: Royal Ballet Tombeaux mixed bill"
In response to message #6
 
   Of course, Dave!
It was clear that you were talking of dancing and not of private life, that should never be discussed.

Especially in this particular case, since we would really be "downstream", according to ďoldĒ interviews (http://www.guardian.co.uk/arts/features/story/0,11710,1042116,00.html

Anna


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Mandy

28-03-05, 05:56 PM (GMT)
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11. "RE: Royal Ballet Tombeaux mixed bill"
In response to message #9
 
   What really sticks in my mind in Tombeaux is the pdd with those incredible upside down lifts, what trust and confidence is needed by the ballerina in her partner for those! Alina and Johan were excellent bien sur,and I thought the four men ( Watson, Harvey, Cervera,Sasaki) were also very well matched and dancing on form.

The programme notes explain much about the Enigma Variations and its worth trying to read some of it in advance if you can.
Watson as Troyte...looked fine to me, very bristling and energetic, I also heard good reports of Cervera in this role at the DR.
Martin was remarkable as George Robertson Sinclair and his pirouettes, as always, just perfect and on one spot. I swear he'll drill a hole in the stage one of these days! Marquez was lovely as Dorabella. I particularly liked Nunez and Makhateli's pdd as the young couple,Ysobel and R P A, it was very sweetly danced. Sarah Lamb's Lady Mary was dreamy, she floated through her solo and I can see she is a real star in the making. Gorgeous costumes too (designed by Julia Treveyan Oman).


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Bruceadmin

28-03-05, 10:06 PM (GMT)
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13. "RE: Royal Ballet Tombeaux mixed bill"
In response to message #0
 
   LAST EDITED ON 28-03-05 AT 11:08 PM (GMT)
 
Royal Ballet 'Tombeaux' Bill
26 March 2005

The Royal Ballet's latest bill is an intelligent bit of programming of some rather intelligent ballets. Not to say you can't be swept along by the beauty, wit or emotion of the night, just that these are three rather deep works by choreographers with things to say and in the British ballet tradition too.

More is being seen of David Bintley (the Birmingham Royal Ballet company director) at Covent Garden these days but it was rather fraught back in 1993 when he resigned from the plum job of RB resident choreographer for lack of commissions. Tombeaux was his last piece and it's a gem. Part homage to Frederick Ashton, his choreographic hero, there is much wonderful, sharp classicism here (it picks up on Scenes de Ballet), but with it much free-thinking innovation particularly for the central couple. I'd always remembered its beautiful, slow inverted lifts, but there are many other unexpected reversals going on in a packed 25 minutes. The Jasper Conran designs (his first for dance) echo the fresh look at ballet - they've aged well and still look chic. But Bintley, about to leave the institution he loved, works on us at an emotional level too - the piece is bright and breezy and then deeply reflective by turns, ending in poetic melancholy as the central partnership is broken. Good to see it back on the stage it was created on.

Frederick Ashton's Enigma Variations is much loved by audiences and far too short. Or too short to contain all it crams in. Centred on the composer Elgar, a succession of friends and relatives are depicted in short fragmentary solos and duets, most of which seem over before they begin. It's a piece of endless hors d'oeuvres: interesting but ultimately unsatisfying. Much work and intelligence seems to have gone into distilling down some complex relationships and interactions but I don't feel drawn into it or care about any of the people portrayed on stage. The sets (Julia Trevelyan Oman, and to whom these performances are dedicated) are an Edwardian wonder and the number of cameo roles makes it a great piece for the company - and danced well overall I thought - but I'd cheerfully abandon it (along with Act 1 of Ashton's Cinderella too). Yes I know I'm out of order.

Kenneth MacMillan created his version of Rite of Spring in 1962, 6 years before Enigma Variations but it's a far more modern piece in concept and execution. To Stravinsky's legendary score this is primaeval superstition and bloody sacrifice writ large. Tamara Rojo was the opening night Chosen One, as she was when English National Ballet revived the work in 1999. For good reason - she's one of the scariest dance communicators in the world and her womanly physique only underlines the shivering terror of what happens. The piece overall, with its mud-man, dread-locked and stomping look, remains startling, although some of the group work lost power for not being as coordinated as it ought. That will tighten up, but it's Rojo's night.


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Michael LL

29-03-05, 02:00 AM (GMT)
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14. "RE: Royal Ballet Tombeaux mixed bill"
In response to message #13
 
   I think one either loves, or is indifferent to, Enigma Variations, and I belong to the former camp. This revival has been beautifully mounted and coached (big list of original cast members), and was well cast. The international spread of dancers did not adversely affect the mood. I found Christopher Saunders and Zenaida Yanowsky very tender, but for me the outstanding performance was by William Tuckett as Jaeger. He is master of the art of doing very little, but conveying a great deal of emotion.

Tombeauz was as atmospheric as I recall, and must be incredibly difficult to dance. Alina Cojocaru and Johan Kobborg were superb, but looked exhausted at the end. Viviana Durante and Bruce Sansom are however not forgotten as the brilliant creators.

Tamara Rojo was utterly riveting in the Rite of Spring. And she still managed the most amazing balances and fouettes in Don Q, at the Tsunami Gala the next night. She finished her fouettes with (I think) a six turn spin.


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Bruceadmin

29-03-05, 08:10 AM (GMT)
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15. "RE: Royal Ballet Tombeaux mixed bill"
In response to message #14
 
  
Good post - so many little observations. Tuckett is a wonderful dance actor and LONG may he continue to do such work as well as choreograph. If anybody can draw me in it's he, Yanowsky and Saunders and true to say I felt a little warmer about Enigma than I have for a while. I've come to love A Month in the Country - perhaps its because its more focused.

Durante and Sansom will always hover over the Bintley, but Alina and Johan did well, as did the corps girls. The 4 boys too - individually if not together.

Never seen Rojo do 6 spins - must have been wonderful. So sad that she was not around when MacMillan was.


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ami

29-03-05, 11:13 AM (GMT)
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16. "RE: Royal Ballet Tombeaux mixed bill"
In response to message #14
 
  
>Tamara Rojo was utterly riveting in the Rite of Spring. And
>she still managed the most amazing balances and fouettes in
>Don Q, at the Tsunami Gala the next night. She finished her
>fouettes with (I think) a six turn spin.

I counted (as a dancer does with the music), and yes, it was six right in time with the music, the most magical fouettes I've ever seen - more on the appropriate thread later today.

But thank you all for your reviews and thoughts of this - insightful and making me even more eager to attend!


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DaveM

29-03-05, 01:13 PM (GMT)
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17. "RE: Royal Ballet Tombeaux mixed bill"
In response to message #16
 
   >
>>Tamara Rojo was utterly riveting in the Rite of Spring. And
>>she still managed the most amazing balances and fouettes in
>>Don Q, at the Tsunami Gala the next night. She finished her
>>fouettes with (I think) a six turn spin.
>
>I counted (as a dancer does with the music), and yes, it was
>six right in time with the music, the most magical fouettes
>I've ever seen


WOW - will look forward to seeing those, whenever the Beeb gets around to broadcasting it. Sounds amazing.


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charliewise

30-03-05, 10:29 PM (GMT)
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18. "RE: Royal Ballet Tombeaux mixed bill"
In response to message #17
 
   I saw this bill on Saturday. Tombeaux I thought was amazing - great staging, costumes, music and dancing - it all fitted together perfectly (and the lifts in the pdd are most tricky although they looked a little strange from the Amphi!).

I didn't like Enigma Variations - I didn't understand it (I should have read the programme notes as suggested I think!) and I didn't think there was enough actual dancing (I prefer Ashton's 'plotless' works).

After having been to the Masterclass I wasn't sure I was going to like Rite of Spring - and I didn't really, although it is a very powerful ballet and I couldn't take my eyes off Tamara. She must be one of the most versatile dancers ever - dancing a scintillating Rite one night and an explosive Don Q pdd the next!


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alison

02-04-05, 01:12 PM (GMT)
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34. "RE: Royal Ballet Tombeaux mixed bill"
In response to message #13
 
   >Tombeaux was his last piece and it's a
>gem. Part homage to Frederick Ashton, his choreographic
>hero, there is much wonderful, sharp classicism here (it
>picks up on Scenes de Ballet), but with it much
>free-thinking innovation particularly for the central
>couple. I'd always remembered its beautiful, slow inverted
>lifts, but there are many other unexpected reversals going
>on in a packed 25 minutes. The Jasper Conran designs (his
>first for dance) echo the fresh look at ballet - they've
>aged well and still look chic. But Bintley, about to leave
>the institution he loved, works on us at an emotional level
>too - the piece is bright and breezy and then deeply
>reflective by turns, ending in poetic melancholy as the
>central partnership is broken. Good to see it back on the
>stage it was created on.

Getting back to the "Tombeaux" side of things, I'm sure that there used to be rather more mystery and even drama to it with the original cast than I noticed in either of the current ones. Am I right, or is my view just changed from sitting in the amphitheatre as opposed to being downstairs?


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Martha

31-03-05, 02:20 AM (GMT)
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19. "RE: Royal Ballet Tombeaux mixed bill"
In response to message #0
 
   LAST EDITED ON 31-03-05 AT 02:56 AM (GMT)
 
I really love Tombeaux- this is the first time Iíve seen the ballet and it will probably take a couple more viewings for me to fully appreciate it. It just seems to have so much story bubbling underneath all the chic, seemingly plotless choreography. While the piece has many Ashton influences, the role of the ballerina reminds me very much of a Balanchine muse- elusive in places, detached in some and inviting in others. Much has already been said about Alina Cojocaru and Johan Kobborg in the leads and I can only agree. But I also want to add that Lauren Cuthbertson in the second cast looked remarkably poised and on top of the difficult choreography. All in all this is such a gorgeous piece of work, stimulating the mind, inviting the audience to unlock its many secrets, as well as being a feast for the eyes.

I also enjoy Enigma Variations, although I think it is essential to read about it beforehand. (But you can find much info. about it on the internet so buying a programme is not necessarily a must!) I thought that the dance between Elgar, his wife and Jaeger as performed by Christopher Saunders, Zenaida Yanowsky and Will Tuckett one of the most beautifully judged and poignant performances Iíve seen this season. Vanessa Palmer as Winifred Norbury also almost stole the show for me on Wednesday- what a beautiful Ashton dancer she is. She has the most melting movements of the upper body and such delicate feet and a witty interpretation of the role, too.

Rite of Spring- itís impossible for me not to be swept away by the music and the power of the performance! At the Insight Evening, Christina Aretis mentioned that this was a particularly difficult piece for them to learn but the corps already looked much more assured and into the work by the second performance (not that they were shabby on the first night!) Tamara Rojo, as has been said, gave a staggering performance. Although I have to say that IMHO Zenaida Yanowsky was no less magnificent in the second cast. I was slightly worried for her since Monica Mason told us at the Masterclass that Zenaida had a rather horrendous accident and had to miss two weeks of rehearsal as a result. But when the time came her physique, quality of movements and stamina added such power and force to the performance. And both her and Rojo, being magnificent artists that they are, built up their performances brilliantly. Great to see the piece so enthusiastically received by the audience on both nights- well deserved for all involved!


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ian_palmer

31-03-05, 10:33 AM (GMT)
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20. "RE: Royal Ballet Tombeaux mixed bill"
In response to message #19
 
   If plaudits must go to anyone for last night's Triple Bill, then I think the most deserved belong to the Royal Opera House orchestra under Mikhail Agrest, which gave some of the most extraordinary performances of Walton, Elgar and Stravinsky, that you would be lucky enough to hear even on the concert platform. This is a real gem of an orchestra which is now playing amongst the very top flight of international orchestras - and on a ballet evening! I could savour again and again the elegant, dignified but never less than thrilling account of the "Enigma Variations" (the brass is on extremely fine form - not a dud note throughout) with its glorious symphonic arch; the brutal, almost savage account of Stravinsky's "The Rite of Spring" and the jazzy, yet totally sophisticated rendition of the "Variations on a Theme of Hindemith" by Walton. I think you could have sat back and just closed your eyes and still have felt that you had got your money's worth from the evening.

Unfortunately this is pretty much what I had to do for David Bintley's "Tombeaux" which appeared to me to be a rather lack-lustre affair. For me the performance was about as chic as a Woolworths' anorak. I am sorry to say that I cannot agree with Martha, above, about Lauren Cuthbertson. For me, on that particular evening, her dance looked laboured and a little too studied. The central pas de deux (with Federico Bonelli) looked awkward and uncomfortable for them both and one got the sense that they were just desperate to get to the end. I appreciate how much she is loved on this postings board, so I shall say no more.

Ashton's "Enigma Variations" made me realise (as has most of this season) just what a genius he was. He is the master of subtlety and under-statement. I am not one prone to tears, but even I had a little moisture in my eye during the Nimrod Variation when at the climax, Elgar (Christopher Saunders) lifts Lady Elgar (Isabel McMeeken) very gently, and very slightly from the floor. There is more love and emotion expressed between two people in that simple movement than there is in other choreographers' wild and extravagant pas de deux (IMHO). I entirely agree with all the comments made about William Tuckett as Jaeger and the conservatism of his movement. Of the other members of the cast I would single out the divine Belinda Hatley for her delicious arms and her wit, elegance and gaiety. On a musical note - the Finale (EDU) seemed rather different from what I remmeber hearing on the concert platform. Am I correct in thinking that Ashton must have dropped a few bars of music?

Like Martha above, I was stunned by the assurance of the corps in The Rite of Spring and by the magnificence of Yanowsky's performance, which seemed to me beautifully (if one can use that word in the context of this "Rite"!) paced. The thing I love about Yanowsky the most is her back. I was utterly riveted by the wonderful curved shapes which she was able to create from it, which seemed such a vulnerable antithesis to the harsh, linear shapes and movements of the orgiastic corps.


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Paul A

31-03-05, 11:18 AM (GMT)
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21. "RE: Royal Ballet Tombeaux mixed bill"
In response to message #20
 
  
>On a musical note - the Finale
>(EDU) seemed rather different from what I remmeber hearing
>on the concert platform. Am I correct in thinking that
>Ashton must have dropped a few bars of music?


He did. Can't remember though whether this was at Ashton's request or whether this is an established alternative version.


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wulff

31-03-05, 02:52 PM (GMT)
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24. "RE: Royal Ballet Tombeaux mixed bill"
In response to message #21
 
   >
>>On a musical note - the Finale
>>(EDU) seemed rather different from what I remmeber hearing
>>on the concert platform. Am I correct in thinking that
>>Ashton must have dropped a few bars of music?
>
>
>He did. Can't remember though whether this was at Ashton's
>request or whether this is an established alternative
>version.

This is, in fact, an established alternative version. I haven't seen the programme notes on this occasion, but in the past they used to give chapter and verse for it.


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Jane Sadmin

31-03-05, 03:45 PM (GMT)
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25. "RE: Royal Ballet Tombeaux mixed bill"
In response to message #24
 
   I believe Ashton used the ending which Elgar originally wrote, rather than the longer version he (Elgar) later changed it to.


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ian_palmer

31-03-05, 03:57 PM (GMT)
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26. "RE: Royal Ballet Tombeaux mixed bill"
In response to message #25
 
   >I believe Ashton used the ending which Elgar originally
>wrote, rather than the longer version he (Elgar) later
>changed it to.

Thank you all! I suppose then that that would be the version which Richter conducted, thus fitting in with the narrative of the ballet?


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JohnM

31-03-05, 07:18 PM (GMT)
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27. "RE: Royal Ballet Tombeaux mixed bill"
In response to message #26
 
   David Vaughan states that it was Jaeger who encouraged Elgar to extend the finale. (Incidentally he also mentions that there was a recording made in 1969 with most of the original cast. Where is it now?)


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Bluebird

31-03-05, 11:38 PM (GMT)
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28. "RE: Royal Ballet Tombeaux mixed bill"
In response to message #27
 
   >David Vaughan states that it was Jaeger who encouraged Elgar
>to extend the finale. (Incidentally he also mentions that
>there was a recording made in 1969 with most of the original
>cast. Where is it now?)
Presumably in the BBC archive since they televised it during the 1980 BBC2 Dance Month.


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Martha

31-03-05, 12:37 PM (GMT)
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22. "RE: Royal Ballet Tombeaux mixed bill"
In response to message #20
 
   >I am sorry to say that I
>cannot agree with Martha, above, about Lauren Cuthbertson.
>For me, on that particular evening, her dance looked
>laboured and a little too studied. The central pas de deux
>(with Federico Bonelli) looked awkward and uncomfortable for
>them both and one got the sense that they were just
>desperate to get to the end. I appreciate how much she is
>loved on this postings board, so I shall say no more.

Thatís ok Ian!!! I think I was pleasantly surprised at how much more assured she looked compared to this time last year when she took centre stage dancing the Second Movement in Symphony in C. Although I agree that her partnership with Federico Bonelli in this didnít gel as well as Iíd hoped, especially based on the promises we saw at the Insight Evening. David Bentley did say, however, that it takes a while for the (very difficult!) choreography to stay in the dancersí bodies and it is only then that their stamina will develop so I suspect that they should look better in subsequent performances.


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DaveM

31-03-05, 12:59 PM (GMT)
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23. "RE: Royal Ballet Tombeaux mixed bill"
In response to message #22
 
   Although I agree that her partnership with
>Federico Bonelli in this didnít gel as well as Iíd hoped,
>especially based on the promises we saw at the Insight
>Evening. David Bentley did say, however, that it takes a
>while for the (very difficult!) choreography to stay in the
>dancersí bodies and it is only then that their stamina will
>develop so I suspect that they should look better in
>subsequent performances.

Nerves perhaps? I think that most of the coaching efforts had gone to Alina/Johann as well, probably left them feeling a bit 'second choice', which can't have helped their confidence. They did seem to be furiously concentrating on getting the steps right, rather than having the steps to hand to express themselves. As Martha says, hopefully that will come, as I think both are wonderful dancers (imho)


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Jane Sadmin

01-04-05, 04:14 PM (GMT)
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29. "RE: Royal Ballet Tombeaux mixed bill"
In response to message #23
 
   LAST EDITED ON 01-04-05 AT 04:30 PM (GMT)
 
I've only seen the second cast so far - I like Tombeaux but was disappointed by the performance. A brave try from Cuthbertson and some flashes of real excellence, but as others have said she needs more performances to get on top of it. Bonelli also looked underprepared, and he suffers from the very strong imprint of Sansom on the role - that perfect line is irreplaceable. To answer my question above, 'Does the lovely ending still make its effect?' - no, sadly it doesn't. It's one of the things everyone seems to remember from the original - Sansom running round Durante in a widening spiral, making you really feel that he was leaving her - Bonelli just seemed to make a quick turn and off. Maybe he was exhausted - it's a killer.

Enigma was distinctly better than the last time they tried it. I'm not the first to say that Vanessa Palmer was the star - of the whole evening, perhaps. Lovely Ashton dancing, which makes you realise what's missing in some others. I also liked Cervera as Troyte and some of the others were fine. The men at the beginning were trying to hard to be funny, though, and I have to disagree about Belinda Hatley - I thought she made it look like really hard work. She's changed a lot while she's been off and I think she's maybe outgrown these 'young girl' roles.


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AEHandley

02-04-05, 09:01 AM (GMT)
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30. "RE: Royal Ballet Tombeaux mixed bill"
In response to message #29
 
  
>
>Enigma was distinctly better than the last time they tried
>it. I'm not the first to say that Vanessa Palmer was the
>star - of the whole evening, perhaps. Lovely Ashton dancing,
>which makes you realise what's missing in some others. I
>also liked Cervera as Troyte and some of the others were
>fine. The men at the beginning were trying to hard to be
>funny, though, and I have to disagree about Belinda Hatley -
>I thought she made it look like really hard work. She's
>changed a lot while she's been off and I think she's maybe
>outgrown these 'young girl' roles.
>
>
I can never remember who's who in these variations - I know Troyte but which one is Winifred Norbury? And who was Belinda Hatley dancing? (btw I think this is a problematic ballet - no-one can ever work out what Elgar and his wife are so miserable about!)


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Richard Jones

02-04-05, 09:31 AM (GMT)
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31. "RE: Royal Ballet Tombeaux mixed bill"
In response to message #30
 
   Winifred Norbury (variation 8) comes between Troyte and Nimrod. She conducted local choirs in Worcestershire and helped Elgar with proof-reading. The music includes a reference to her 'characteristic laugh' as Elgar wrote, and ends on a held G in the first violins which leads magically into Nimrod (though when I saw the ballet you couldn't hear this transition because of the applause for WN - and it's one of my great moments in music!).


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alison

02-04-05, 01:10 PM (GMT)
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33. "RE: Royal Ballet Tombeaux mixed bill"
In response to message #31
 
   There wasn't any applause this time round, for which I was thankful, because as you say it ruins the transition into Nimrod, but Vanessa Palmer would have thoroughly merited it - I thought she was excellent.


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AEHandley

03-04-05, 09:05 AM (GMT)
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35. "RE: Royal Ballet Tombeaux mixed bill"
In response to message #31
 
   Oh this is annoying me, I can't think of that variation at all! ARGH! I don't think I have a recording either (and if I do it's on cassette so can't be "flicked through" easily). Can you describe it in any more detail? (sorry, it's almost impossible to do I know!)


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AEHandley

03-04-05, 05:02 PM (GMT)
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36. "RE: Royal Ballet Tombeaux mixed bill"
In response to message #35
 
   ARGH again can't listen to the Amazon sound samples either! OH grr.


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alison

02-04-05, 01:08 PM (GMT)
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32. "RE: Royal Ballet Tombeaux mixed bill"
In response to message #30
 
   Belinda was dancing Ysobel.


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Michael LL

07-04-05, 12:37 PM (GMT)
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37. "RE: Royal Ballet Tombeaux mixed bill April 6"
In response to message #32
 
   Enigma Variations was especially touching last night, the first cast except for a most delightful and charming Dorabella from Iohna Loots. Exemplary footwork.


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alison

11-04-05, 01:30 PM (GMT)
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38. "RE: Royal Ballet Tombeaux mixed bill"
In response to message #20
 
   >If plaudits must go to anyone for last night's Triple Bill,
>then I think the most deserved belong to the Royal Opera
>House orchestra under Mikhail Agrest, which gave some of the
>most extraordinary performances of Walton, Elgar and
>Stravinsky, that you would be lucky enough to hear even on
>the concert platform. This is a real gem of an orchestra
>which is now playing amongst the very top flight of
>international orchestras - and on a ballet evening! I could
>savour again and again the elegant, dignified but never less
>than thrilling account of the "Enigma Variations" (the brass
>is on extremely fine form - not a dud note throughout) with
>its glorious symphonic arch; the brutal, almost savage
>account of Stravinsky's "The Rite of Spring" and the jazzy,
>yet totally sophisticated rendition of the "Variations on a
>Theme of Hindemith" by Walton.

Ian's posting has reminded me of a couple of things I wanted to mention. First of all, am I the only one to have been bemused by what seems to be a pit opening up in the side stalls circle nearest the stage? I haven't been able to see conclusively from the amphitheatre, but is it actually a proper hole open above the orchestra pit? I noticed that the horns were located *under* the stalls circle, and wonder if the hole's been opened up to allow the music to escape properly? If so, that must have cost a pretty penny, surely, given the number of seats they've lost income on.

Secondly, I've often wondered, but never paid sufficient attention: in Rite of Spring, when the Chosen One is hopping her way through the scything limbs of the corps de ballet, does anyone know whether there is actually a prescribed route, or whether she has a certain amount of leeway provided that she reaches certain places at a certain moment in the music? If it is prescribed, then I'm surprised that the dancers manage to remember it - I'm sure I'd get lost.

Going back to my first point, as a total aside, I thought I'd mention that I went to a concert on Saturday night which included the Faurť Requiem *and* the 2 Daphnis and Chloe suites. Again, it was great to hear the singing (and music) liberated from the orchestra pit where I was hearing it last autumn.


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DaveM

11-04-05, 03:32 PM (GMT)
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39. "RE: Royal Ballet Tombeaux mixed bill"
In response to message #38
 
  
>Ian's posting has reminded me of a couple of things I wanted
>to mention. First of all, am I the only one to have been
>bemused by what seems to be a pit opening up in the side
>stalls circle nearest the stage? I haven't been able to see
>conclusively from the amphitheatre, but is it actually a
>proper hole open above the orchestra pit? I noticed that
>the horns were located *under* the stalls circle, and wonder
>if the hole's been opened up to allow the music to escape
>properly? If so, that must have cost a pretty penny,
>surely, given the number of seats they've lost income on.
>


The 'hole' there to let out the sound of the extra musicians required - or so I believe - as the orchestra expanded to give the Stravinsky the full monty!


>Secondly, I've often wondered, but never paid sufficient
>attention: in Rite of Spring, when the Chosen One is hopping
>her way through the scything limbs of the corps de ballet,
>does anyone know whether there is actually a prescribed
>route, or whether she has a certain amount of leeway
>provided that she reaches certain places at a certain moment
>in the music? If it is prescribed, then I'm surprised that
>the dancers manage to remember it - I'm sure I'd get lost.


It is a set route i believe - the dancers on the floor have to make sure they are in time - or they get stepped on!! The hops and steps are all in time to the beats, and the Chosen One has to get to the right spots at the right time in the music. If i'm wrong about that - apologies!


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ian_palmer

11-04-05, 03:53 PM (GMT)
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40. "RE: Royal Ballet Tombeaux mixed bill"
In response to message #39
 
   >The 'hole' there to let out the sound of the extra musicians required - or so I believe - as the orchestra expanded to give the Stravinsky the full monty!<

Yes that's true Dave. The Rite of Spring requires an immense orchestra, and it is good to see that the ROH is using the full orchestration, even though it necessitates the removal of some seats (the Hochhausers were not prepared to lose THAT revenue when the Kirov performed the work two years ago!) I think it represents a remarkable change on behalf of the Royal Ballet and the importance it is now placing on the music performed. I would imagine that Pappano is not too far behind these developments, as I understand he cares for the orchestra deeply. And we are the lucky ones plucking the fruits!


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alison

12-04-05, 01:09 PM (GMT)
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41. "RE: Royal Ballet Tombeaux mixed bill"
In response to message #40
 
   Very much so. I was very pleased to see that plenty of attention was being given to the music, especially since the prices are already quite low in comparison with prices for full evening works, so profit margins can't have been too large. But what I want to know is, what happens to the stalls circle day seats? Do they get moved along, or abandoned?


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Michael LL

17-04-05, 02:14 AM (GMT)
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42. "Royal Ballet Tombeaux mixed bill on April 16"
In response to message #41
 
   A full house for the last performance of this wonderful programme. The orchestra under Mikhail Agrest were outstanding.

Lauren Cuthbertson seemed to have mastered the female role in Tombeaux, dancing with assurance, musicality and an air of mystery. Federico Bonelli seemed less happy, but was unfailingly elegant and partnered well.

A very moving Enigma Variations. The performances of the central trio of Christopher Saunders, Isabel McMeekan and William Tuckett were perfectly judged. Tuckett reminded me of Robert Donat in his acting and presence. Exquisite cameos from Belinda Hatley, David Pickering, Vanessa Palmer and Sarah Lamb. Bethany Keating danced beautifully with great charm as Dorabella, but still has a tendency to a fixed smile. Exhilarating dancing from Ricardo Cervera, Brian Maloney and Giacomo Ciriaci.

A very powerful Rite of Spring. As the Chosen One, Zenaida Yanowsky is totally different, but equally as compelling, as Tamara Rojo.


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AlexP

17-04-05, 10:53 PM (GMT)
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43. "RE: Royal Ballet Tombeaux mixed bill on April 16"
In response to message #42
 
   "......As the Chosen One, Zenaida Yanowsky is totally different, but equally as compelling, as Tamara Rojo."

.... This reminds me of both their Swan Lakes earlier this year - two *completely* different and incomparable interpretations. (But *equally* sensational). I did not get to see Tamara in this run of Rite of Spring but did witness Zenaida last night (16th April). And once again she injected that ineffable quality (that 'Zen-ness') into her solo which was so awesome! I have never seen this ballet before.... I'm sure this is another role I'll always think of as 'hers'


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